Tuesday, November 06, 2007


On the day of my return to work after the trip to P'town, my eldest sister called -- she of the incredible tact and dogged devotion to the idea that Isis and I, though she will neither look at nor talk to me, might be reconciled. Back in August, she responded to my coming out by offering this:

I wonder if you've thought all this through [not a good opener...]. As I understand it [based on extensive research, apparently], the "gay scene" in D_______ is sort of a meat market, composed largely of very young beautiful men who have sex out of lust, not love. The older men are likely to find a partner among these men only if they are opportunistic, looking for a sugar daddy who can take care of them. Obviously, you're not in a position to fill that role. [Oh???]

It seems to me that the chances of finding the love of your life among either group is pretty slim. I'm afraid you'll be terribly lonely, and that not a day will pass without your regretting the move. Of course, I feel terribly sad for Isis as well as for you, and I worry about finances for both of you. I still hope, unrealistically I'm sure, that this can be turned around and your marriage can be saved. Much of this is selfish on my part -- it hurts to think of your family being rent asunder. It's going to hurt a lot of people, and I can't see it making you happy, either.

Well, on Halloween, she
called me in a flood of tears. It was my first day back at work after the trip to the Cape, and I had a lot on my plate. So, apparently, did she. What would happen to us all when Mom died, what would happen to her when her [long-suffering] husband died? I did my best to talk her down, and awarded myself all kinds of gold stars for not telling her to "get a grip," or to let me get on with work. Meanwhile, my boss was standing in the doorway waiting to get my attention...

OK, I stupidly told my mother how freaked out I had been by the contrast between what she had told me was going on with my sister, and what I had heard on the phone. Having long prided herself on how "well" her children had turned out, my poor mother is now having to pull in her horns as one after the other of us comes a cropper. Each in our different way, of course... I thought I had portrayed the phone call with concern and understanding, if with a certain degree of confusion. It never occurred to me that [a] my mother would turn around and repeat everything to my sister [when will I learn?] or that [b] the word "hysterical," which I have often applied to myself, would turn out to be the Original Fighting Word.

Wrong again. She did, and it was. My sister called me at some incredibly inconvenient times earlier this week, and I did not get around to calling her back; she left no message that indicated more than that she wanted to get back in touch. Well, today she left a message that let me know how pissed off she was that I had "ratted her out" to Mom, and I was frankly floored. I called back, found her not at home, and left a message saying that I wasn't sure how I had wronged her, was unaware that I had in fact "ratted her out," etc.

More phone tag.

Finally, I decided that the Right Thing to Do was to call her and talk it out, which I did, although it meant cutting into time that was in fact scheduled for free-lance work with ever more darkly looming deadlines. Well, she was plenty angry, all right, even a week after the event, and I spent the better part of an hour pouring oil on the waters, and apologizing for my mis-step, and promising to be much more careful what I said to whom about what she told me in the future, and generally feeling like I was on tap as an unpaid psychologist. At one point I went around the side of the house to plug up the hole where the mice were getting into the basement, and I lost the signal to my cell-phone. After answering her question as to whether I was still there several times in the affirmative, I saw a "call lost" message, and called it quits.

She called back again, and launched into a "positive" inquiry about the
Goat. When I allowed as to how I had met him at an event organized by his ex-boyfriend, and that he had not in fact been his ex-boyfriend yet when we met, I got the cheerfully glib response: "Oh, so you stole him."
Well, it was partly that I do have rather conflicted feelings around the whole process of the Goat's relationship to the RBF coming unglued, in spite of everybody's protestations that it had nothing to do with me. And it was partly that she went on to say that what the hell, it was practically a family tradition.

Something about her attitude really got my, well, my goat, and in response to her equally flippant wish that I have a pleasant evening, I replied that her glibness had made that quite unlikely, and that in fact I found it a little rich that I was meant to grovel and abase myself for having accurately reported the content of a phone conversation, while she was free to make hurtful remarks about painful situations she knew nothing about. After a little more explicit acknowledgement of exactly how angry I was, I said that I would in fact guarantee myself a "pleasant evening" by hanging up before I said anything I would later regret.

Too late. Almost as soon as I had hung up, I wished I had not flown off the handle, so I put my Crow-Eating Shoes back on, and sent her an e-mail saying I was sorry for losing my temper, but that the entire family could probably use some advanced course work in thinking before speaking.

And then to top it off, I went and told the
Goat all about it, which I probably should not have done, since it started the whole "no, it wasn't you" cycle again, and I can only take so much of that. Well, at least he called. I can't believe it's less than 24 hours since I left his place at school for Nowheresville, and I am already ready to hop in the car and drive back out there. We talked for almost 50 minutes, which is a good thing, but probably a bad sign.

I hope he knows I like him.

Only eleven days until we head out to the coast.
On the other hand, it doesn't look as though I'll see him before then.

Hang in there, all.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. Finally someone who's level of complication in life approaches my own.
    Congratulations - you have my utterly serious and unqualified sympathy, if only because that's all I can offer.
    Hang in there, as I most assuredly will be doing as well.